Named for a freshwater fish called the Artic grayling, the USS Grayling SS-18 was a U.S. Navy submarine of the D-class. Boats of this class were among the first submarines to be used by the American military. The Grayling was constructed by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company of Quincy, Massachusetts, under a contract from the Electric Boat Company. She was ready for launch on June 16, 1909, under sponsorship by Miss C.H. Bowles. On November 23, she received her commission under the command of Lieutenant Owen Hill.
Service as a Training Sub
Nearly two years after she was commissioned, the submarine was renamed the USS D-2. As part of the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet, the D-2 was named the flagship of Submarine Division 3. In this capacity, she performed diving, torpedo, and developmental activities. For the Presidential Review of her fleet, she traveled to North River in New York City from May 5 to 18, 1915.
The D-2 continued her experimental and training exercises during World War I. At Philadelphia Navy Yard on September 19, 1919, she was placed into reserve commission. Two years later, she was placed in ordinary, meaning she was receiving repairs at a dry dock.
Decommissioned on January 18, 1922, the USS D-2 was sold for scrap on September 25.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially throughout conflicts of the last century, submarines also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. However, these risks extend beyond the inherent dangers that existed while operating the vessels during military conflicts. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were also common aboard submarines because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Furthermore, the enclosed environment of submarines put servicemen at an even higher risk of exposure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with or served on submarines should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.